In the last year, just about every iPad case or stand has made it to my office for a review. While I don't always write them up, I often show the products on TUAW TV Live. It doesn't matter what I'm showing; there's always someone for whom the product is perfect, and a lot of people liked the case that I'm writing about here. For people who want the protection of a case and the convenience of the stand, the iChair (no, not the helmsman's chair from Norway) is one of the better designs I've seen.
We received one of the iPad cases and an iPhone 4 case earlier this month for review, and while the iPhone case was inadvertently used as a giveaway for our TUAW meetups, I still have the iPad case and decided to give it a try. Vindi Sedey, the CEO of iChair, is trying to get funding on Kickstarter to start manufacturing the iPad 2 and fourth-generation iPod touch versions of the combo case and stand. At this point, he's quite a bit away from his goal of $15,000 worth of funding, but given the quality of the iChair for the original iPad, I thought I'd give the product a little push here on TUAW.
Check out the review of the original iChair on the next page, and if you like what you see, help out a young entrepreneur as a backer for his project.
The iChair for iPad (US$49.00) is a slider-type case made of a grippable hard plastic material on the outside, and lined with a soft velour material on the inside. That inside liner is unique to the iChair; I've found that many other cases of this type retain the hard material on the inside as well, and for some reason it often collects dust that ends up on the back of the iPad. The iChair material tends to remove the dust from the iPad, and I've found in testing that it also seems to keep dust from accumulating behind the iPad in the first place.
While the iChair is made of black plastic, the top is replaceable with an included extra cap. In the package I received, the second cap was a nice dark blue to create a two-tone case. When purchasing the iChair, there's a choice of the blue cap or a white one. The package also contains a screen protector to keep the iPad display from scratches. I personally like the thin design of the iChair. It doesn't add a lot of bulk to the iPad, unlike many of the other iPad stands and cases we've reviewed.
So where does the iChair get its name? From the fact that thanks to two small locking plastic tabs that snap out from the body of the case, the iChair can "sit up" in landscape or portrait orientation. When you're planning on doing some hardcore typing on the iPad, the iChair props up into a slight slant that's perfect for tapping on the virtual keyboard.
To show you the iChair in action, I put together a quick two-minute video showing what it looks like and how it works.
The iChair for iPad is thin, sturdy, and useful. At $49, it beats many competitive products on price, and the extra top cap gives the iChair a nice custom feel. If you'd like to see this product for iPad 2, be sure to visit the iChair Kickstarter page and consider backing the project.